High school senior Sarah Kardonsky got the help of nine players of the NY Jets to ask her friend Micahel Pagano to the prom. They appeared on ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ Thursday after the host heard about their story.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Sarah Kardonsky wanted to ask her good friend with autism to prom because, ‘even though Mike has high functioning autism he does not let that bring him down at all.’
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Ellen DeGeneres surprised high schoolers Sarah Kardonsky and Michael Pagano with special Jets jerseys and crowns to wear to their prom as well as an extra special message from the team.
The New York Jets are so glad Michael Pagano said yes to Sarah Kardonsky’s prom proposal.
The young man from Levittown, N.Y., has high functioning autism and his longtime friend, Sarah, wanted him to feel extra special after initially turning him down only because she had already made a commitment to go with someone else.
After giving it some thought, Sarah felt the best thing to do was ditch her other prom date and ask Mike to be hers.
She enlisted the help of nine Jets players after reaching out to the team via social media. Wide receiver Saalim Hakim, cornerback Dexter McDougle, wide receiver Chris Owusu, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie were among the players who asked Pagano, “Will you go to the prom with Sarah?” in a video message played during their high school’s morning announcements.
After the initial shock of the surprise from his favorite football team wore off, Pagano nodded his head yes, accepting his pal’s invitation and standing to give her a big hug.
“He’s so special,” Kardonsky boasted about her friend on Thursday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“He is the sweetest guy I ever met,” she continued.
“Pretty special,” Pagano said of Kardonsky’s proposal. “I would never think someone would do this for me.”
“He’s actually an inspiration to anybody who knows him,” Kardonsky added. “Even though Mike has high functioning autism he does not let that bring him down at all. He loves himself. He’s not mad at the world. He’s such a good kid he deserves something special to be done for him.”
The daytime talk show host delivered by giving the teens a pair of Jets jerseys for their prom on June 12 – one with Prom King and the other with Prom Queen written on the back – as well as crowns for both.
Pagano grinned and immediately placed the crown on his head before DeGeneres shared a special message from the Jets team for him and his dear friend.
“Hey Sarah and Mike this is Todd Bowles head coach for the Jets,” the video message began.
After the eight players that stood by their coach introduced themselves, including some who took part in Kardonsky’s prom proposal, Bowles revealed that the NFL team had “four pre-game passes for you to one game this year.”
In the end, Chris Owusu walked up close to the camera and whispered to Pagano, “Hey Mike, glad you said yes.”
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